Choosing Wedding Venues

by | Venue Wisdom, Wisdom




Image by Nerida McMurray Photography via Kellie and Gavin’s Vintage Inspired Sydney Wedding

When you look at potential wedding venues, you’ll view grand ballrooms that are one expansive room and perhaps estate homes, museums or other sites offering multiple rooms — such as a great room with an enormous, carved fireplace where your cocktail party might take place, a library with couch seating and a mahogany bar, rooms with brick-wall charm, an atrium and other spaces. It’s like having your own mansion all to yourselves, and in some cases, it may very well be that you do have the mansion all to yourselves!

The concern you might have is this: if our wedding guests are scattered among different rooms, won’t they miss the big moments that they would otherwise see when everyone’s in one big ballroom?

Not necessarily. Think of this: in a huge ballroom, guests seated in the far reaches of the space might not be able to see all the way to the stage or the front of the ballroom, and might not notice that the cake has been wheeled out until other guests are cheering when you dab that sweet cake frosting on your beloved’s nose. Being in one big ballroom, then, is not always a guarantee that your guests will fully enjoy that big moment. And maybe that big ballroom creates additional additional issues for some guests…

Here are some benefits to multi-room wedding venues:

1. When guests can go to a room just outside of where the dancing is taking place, they can escape the volume of the music, and perhaps the pounding bass of the entertainers’ speakers. A large space, and perhaps an entertainer who is not well-versed in acoustics, can magnify sound… making guests with small children in tow, or elderly guests who don’t like ‘all that noise’ unhappy.

2. Guests can enjoy a quieter space that allows them to chat with friends and relatives (or an attractive wedding guest!).

Image by Leo Farrell via Sofia and Alvin’s Stylish Richmond Wedding

3. Separate rooms with their own bars allow you the chance to ‘theme’ those bars — perhaps having martini bar in one room, the groom’s scotch bar in another room, and so on. Plus, multiple bars in other rooms mean less waiting time than they’d have at one or two bars in a ballroom.

4. Servers can circulate with hors d’ouevres, dessert bites, and drinks to each of the rooms in the establishment, so that guests can enjoy ease of access to your terrific menu items and signature cocktails that come right to them. So guests with mobility issues don’t need to exert themselves, adding comfort to the enjoyment of your day.

5. Venues’ collections of rooms often have dazzling visual interest, such as fireplaces, dimmed chandeliers, elaborate cornices and other features for beautiful ambiance.

Image by Daniel K Cheung via Emma and Justin’s Sydney Library Wedding

6. The additional rooms give you more opportunities to decorate with flowers, signs, photo displays, etc.

7. You have the opportunity to display flat-screen televisions in side rooms, so that guests can see the dancing and hear the MC’s announcement that the cake is on its way out. Your can even arrange for servers to go to each room to let guests know the big moment is about to happen.

8. If the photo booth is located in a side room, you avoid that big, snaking line of guests awaiting their turn in the booth that sometimes extends into the dance floor or buffet areas in one-room venues.

9. Those side rooms create an intimate, special feel that guests experience as very different from corporate events that take place in large ballrooms.

10. Side rooms can be used as a gathering spot for children’s menu service and room to play. Parents can tend to the kids and still be in the wedding location.

This is certainly not to say that a grand ballroom is ‘out’ or undesirable in any way. It’s just a list of things to consider as you tour different wedding sites. The right setting for your wedding may be any layout of venue, perhaps even a spot with no rooms, such as a field or farm setting.

If you do choose a multi-room establishment, it’s a wise idea to add to your personal wedding website a description of the venue, along with its link, letting guests know about cozy side rooms accessible via a marble staircase, or the welcome news that quieter spaces will be found.

Ms Gingham says: I love this post because it gets the creativity going. There’s so many ways to make your wedding special for your guests as well as yourselves here.

About Sharon: Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding books, including her newest: “The Bride’s Guide to Freebies” and “Bridesmaid on a Budget.” Her two books for the mothers of the bride and groom are bestsellers, and she has appeared on such top shows as Good Morning America, ABC News, Lifetime, Inside Edition and more – sharing tips and insider secrets to help you plan your dream wedding on a budget, personalized to your love story. Visit her site Sharon Naylor for more on her books, free worksheets and appearances. She lives in Morristown, NJ with her husband Joe and is at work on her next two wedding books.

  • Katharine says:
    February 11, 2014 at 3:36 am

    I think 2 and 9 are especially true – it’s so important to make sure your guests feel like they’re at a wedding and not a big, faceless event!

  • Friday Roundup - Polka Dot Bride says:
    March 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    […] miki.o  3. Event Review – Lovelocked – A Fresh New Bridal Fair 4. Expert Advice – Choosing Wedding Venues 5. Expert Advice – When Should You Book a […]

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